I have this weird relationship with Madonna.

I am well aware that the lady in question is nowadays pretty much a gay icon – I mention this because everytime I mention the “Madonna-thing” I get that raised eyebrow (you know the one I’m talking about, you’re probably doing it right now)…. The thing is, it wasn’t her gay-iconess that got my, ummm, attention, when as a young 14 year old I managed to get my innocent little hands upon and opening the metal covers of the now infamous SEX book… #NuffSaid? I like the title Queen of Pop… I like Pop Music… Not the crap that is on the radio now, but the Pop of Madonna, Prince, Janet, Michael & Whitney.

Now the thing about this music, is that for me it is very artist-centric, it is as much about them, the stories they have to tell, and the culture of their unique brand of celebrity which they have cultivated, and as with most thing, sometimes my favourite artists piss me off. Right now for instance I am in a particularly frustrated/hate-but-still-a-fan relationship with Madonna, I am just not happy with the artistic evolution (encased in plastic mould, on the face of things) which she is currently on – there is a disconnect which has happened… She still fascinates me, I still spectate, but that really is not what this post is about…

This post is about the song MUSIC and why it is one of my favourite songs, by one of my favourite artists.

It was the year 2000, I had landed myself stuck in Rustenburg of all places. This was right in the middle of my hardcore electro, house, rave bunny phase and on a visit to family, I (for reasons we shan’t elaborate further on here), was trapped in the dorp of Rustenburg (before they blew up the mountain… Do you know they blew up a mountain? So a highway to Sun City could pass through?) Anyway, I digress…

Here I am, trapped (you got it? Traaaaped) in Rustenburg, my collection of CD’s played to death, sitting in the car chilling outside the family business, listening to the radio (which I don’t do for fear of ear bleed), eating an ice-cream. It was Radio 5 or 5FM, whatever, when the announcement comes on that the exclusive world premier of Madonna’s latest song was about to be played, and I’ll never forget how excited the DJ’s were to play it (having already listened to it), they were hyped… The anticipation. The adverts. The wait. The Rustenburg heat. Time ticked slowly (cos you know, Time Goes By So Slowly).

And then maxresdefaultthe moment had arrived… Right from the “Hey Mr DJ, put a record on…” I was intrigued. And then… The first electro glitchy beat, like nothing that had ever been heard before, particularly from a mainstream musician, a filthy grinding guitar riff atop a sonically disjointed rhythm, with stuttery, juttery, manipulated, commanding, vocoder lyrics, calling people to dance, to let go, to let the music take them away…

It was mesmerisingly different. Dance the song said. Feel the beat. Let the rhythm take you. Get up on your feet. And so that’s excatly what I did!

I was young. A raver trapped in Rustenburg. My party peops in Joburg. Alone. Listening to a fresh sick beat like nothing I had heard before. The realisation hit. The strong awareness that this is on radio. It’s gonna end. There’s no repeat. I’m 19 years old. Joburg daze are still away’s away. I am most probably never gonna see any of these dorp people again. And so… Caution to the (lack of) wind, on a sweltering hot spring day, a skinny (stylish) kid, with silver (I kid you not) hair, cranked up the volume, jumped out of the car, and jammed to his hearts content… In a parking lot… Of a strip mall… In downtown Rustenburg… To…

MUSIC

 

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